About Koloa Beach on Kau & South Island, Hawaii
Koloa Beach on Ninole Cove is the lesser-known little brother to popular Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. After visiting Punaluu (and if you prefer solitude), drive or walk the shore westward to check out this hidden gem.
Koloa Beach isn’t great for swimming as it usually has exposure to waves, but the shoreline is beautiful and perfect for exploring. The beach is black sand with lava reefs protecting the shore in a few places. Tidepools and tidal ponds are abundant as the shore is irregularly shaped. If the tide isn’t too high, you can get across the gaps in the rocks dividing the ponds and walk all the way here from Punaluu.
To the southwest and above Koloa Beach there’s an ancient Hawaiian heiau (sacred temple) named Ka’ie’ie Heiau. A trail next to that structure heads west across a lava field all the way to the next beach at Kawa Bay (a 2.8 miles round trip hike). Kawa Bay has more ancient sites including some right on the beach.
To find Koloa Beach, drive toward Punalu’u Black Sand Beach on Ninole Loop Road and then continue on the road to Sea Mountain Resort. Just makai (toward the ocean) from the resort there’s a road that leads to a large parking lot surrounded by trees. This empty parking lot and the adjacent abandoned building was for the Sea Mountain Golf Course which has been closed down. The unsigned dirt road that goes to Koloa Beach starts about 700 feet from the intersection of this road and Ninole Loop Road. You can drive this road or park in the lot and walk down the road.
Once at the shore, walk on sand and lava rocks to the southwest (to the right when facing the ocean) until you reach the small hidden black sand beach. Picturesque ponds can be found in both directions along the shore.
- 95-788 Ninole Loop Rd
Pahala, HI 96777
- Other Names
- Ninole Cove, Ninole Springs, Kapukini, Sea Mountain Beach
- Free parking
- Siteseeing, Photography, Tidepooling, Hiking
- Historical Sites, Saltwater Pools, Tide Pools
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